Sept. 22, 1986
Sept. 22, 1986

Table of Contents
Sept. 22, 1986

Horse Racing
Track & Field
Ralph Sampson
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over


Edited by Robert Sullivan


This is an article from the Sept. 22, 1986 issue Original Layout

The aftershocks of Len Bias's death continue. Last week Prince Georges County (Md.) state attorney Arthur A. Marshall was upset in a Democratic primary for that office by Alex Williams, a Howard University law professor who has never held public office. Marshall, who has served for 24 years, drew 28,845 votes to Williams's 30,891.

Marshall directed the official investigation into Bias's death and made public his opinion that certain University of Maryland officials should be held accountable. When a county grand jury failed to indict basketball coach Lefty Driesell for obstruction of justice—Driesell reportedly told some of his players to clean up the dorm room where cocaine had been taken and further instructed them not to talk to anyone about the case—Marshall lambasted the university in a press conference on the courthouse lawn. Some saw this as grandstanding, and others criticized him for failing to obtain the indictments he had sought. Williams said the Bias affair had been "critical" to his victory. "A number of people at the polls had serious problems with Mr. Marshall's handling of the case," he said, "and they voted him out for that reason." Marshall disagreed. "I don't think it had much to do with the election," he said. "If I were here, I would do it this way next year."

•In an unrelated development, a new medical report commissioned by Marshall—but disputed by the state medical examiner—suggests that Bias swallowed up to five grams of coke, possibly in a drink, rather than sniffing or smoking it. The report was prepared by three Prince George's General Hospital staffers who examined the autopsy report on Bias and concluded that the amount of cocaine found in Bias's stomach was "far too much to be accounted for by smoking."

Ro Waldron, the head football coach at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., was concerned: Half his team was skipping afternoon practice because it conflicted with classes. Dire situations call for drastic measures, and Waldron decreed that Tuesday through Thursday practices would be held from 6:15 to 8:15—in the morning. Last Tuesday was the first day under the new system, and while it was tough on the players—they had to be in the locker room by 5:45—it was just as tough on the coaches. Two of Waldron's seven assistants were snoozing on benches within minutes after the practice. And defensive line coach Jim Lynch was seen dashing out the door, knotting his tie as he ran. Lynch, who heads a Potomac, Md., public relations firm, was already late for work.


All bad things must come to an end, and Glenville (Minn.) High's eight-year losing streak finally did. When last we checked (SI, Nov. 4, 1985), Glenville's football team had lost 68 straight games and was closing in on the high school record of 72 set by Iberia (Mo.) High between 1965 and 1974. Glenville lost two more games this season—the tally was 70 and counting—but on Friday things were different. That night, in a game that astonishingly was rated a toss-up, Glenville beat Ellendale-Geneva 14-8.

There was great joy in Glenville. "All hell is going to break loose!" said junior Dean Dahlum, who rushed for 64 yards and intercepted two passes. He failed to realize that hell is what had been disposed of, and that, besides, it's tough for hell to break loose in a farming town of 851 citizens. "It's a relief," said beleaguered Glenville coach Roger Reuvers. He had sweated until the final gun, remembering, perhaps, the 2-0 loss to Morristown in 1981 or the 6-0 overtime defeat by Janesville in '83. "We're still in a state of shock."

There was a poignant and all too familiar scene at the end of Friday's game. The Ellendale-Geneva cheerleaders, and even some of the players, were in tears. Finally, after far too long a time, the sneaker was on the other foot.


When the harvest wind blows chill, and we see all those football coaches in their cozy parkas and wool caps, the question arises anew: Why are baseball managers, who will shiver through a postseason that could end as late as Oct. 26, required to wear team uniforms on the job? Fact is, they're not. Back in the game's earliest days, when managers stayed on the sidelines and "playing captains" handled matters between the foul lines, managers wore conventional suits. Then, in 1869, future Hall of Famer Harry Wright assumed both jobs for the Cincinnati Red Stockings, and the distinction between manager and captain began to blur. By 1900, managers routinely entered the field of play, and uniforms were their standard dress. Besuited coaches, most notably Connie Mack, were seen as relics. "Connie was a different man, he was an exception to most rules," says Billy Hitchcock, who played second base for Mack's Athletics, but who wore a uniform during his own years as a manager. "In baseball, unlike in the other sports, a manager isn't confined to the dugout. You are part of the game. You have to be on the field occasionally to argue with umpires."

Baltimore's Earl Weaver, who has spent more than his share of time arguing with umpires since 1968, sees an even more pragmatic reason for uniforms. "Dugouts are dirty and fields are dusty," says the man who will soon hang up his uniform for good. "When the wind blows on you it gets dirt on your clothes."


Israel's Davis Cup team was so intent on beating Belgium and Holland in early-round play this year that it didn't look ahead to its European-zone final. Big mistake. The tie was scheduled for Oct. 2-5. Alas, the dates conflict with Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, which runs from sunset on Oct. 3 to sunset on Oct. 4. It would hardly do for Israelis to be playing tennis in Switzerland, which will host the tie, during the high holiday. "Somebody didn't look at the Jewish calendar," said a rueful David Rivlin, Israel's ambassador to Switzerland.

The blunder created a political and religious furor. Orthodox rabbis in Switzerland wrote a letter of protest to Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres insisting Israel's team not play unless new dates for the match were set. A Jerusalem newspaper columnist replied, pointing out that Israel's Davis Cup team had played on Rosh Hashana before (in 1967, against Holland) and claiming that Rosh Hashana isn't even as holy as the regular sabbath, Saturday, on which Israel has often played Davis Cup matches. Throughout Israel, the debate raged.

The obvious solution was to reschedule the match. Even the Soviets, no great friends of the Israelis, had changed the dates of a Davis Cup tie with them under similar circumstances in the past.

But the Swiss weren't so accommodating. They turned down dates in late September, saying their players had previous commitments. Then they indicated that Oct. 1-3 (three weekdays) might be open if Israel coughed up a little money to cover lost ticket and television revenues. The Israelis nearly choked on this pearl of good sportsmanship, but there was no other option. Reluctantly, they agreed to pay Swiss organizers $10,000 and to foot their own $5,000 hotel bill in the host city of St. Gall.

If the Israelis win the zone final, they move into the main Davis Cup draw next year. You can bet they've already bought a 1987 calendar.

Any number of people stage nutty events to herald the end of summer. Most of these games and races are of little general interest, but we felt compelled to pass on just one. We swear this is true; we've checked it out. At the annual duck races held recently on the town square at Denting, N.Mex.—called Duck Downs for the occasion—the winner, Sunny, was entered by a human being named Robert Duck. The runner-up in the 400-bird field was entered by Bob's wife, Kathy Duck.


At the finish line of the 1936 Olympic marathon, 110,000 Berliners cheered for the champion, Kitei Son, of Japan. But the runner who received those cheers knew that there was no such person.

That runner has always considered himself Kee Chung Sohn of Korea. Because of the 1910 Japanese occupation of his country, Sohn had been told to run under the Japanese flag and a Japanese name, or not run at all. He now says he competed for himself and his occupied land, and that it was his hatred of Japan that spurred him to a world-best time of 2:29:19. At a 50th-anniversary ceremony this summer in Berlin, Sohn recalled, "I had run with my head high, though carrying the Japanese flag on my chest in abhorrence. When the band played the Japanese anthem and the Rising Sun was raised at the awards ceremony, my heart almost burst out."

Korea was separated from Japan after World War II, and for four decades Sohn has campaigned to have his rightful name placed in the Olympic records. The International Olympic Committee has refused to expunge Kitei Son. But recently, at the request of the Korean Federation of Los Angeles and others, a plaque of champions in Culver City became the first Olympic monument to undergo a name change. Sohn, who is now 74 and still runs a mile a day near his home in Seoul, attended the rededication. "Fifty years ago I was a man without a country," he said. "This means more to me than when I received the gold medal."

Sohn may enjoy some further belated glory. There is hope that Culver City's action will encourage full and official restitution. And Sohn, a member of the Korean Olympic Committee, is a leading candidate to be torchbearer at the '88 Games.

ILLUSTRATIONSAM Q. WEISSMANPHOTORICK CORRALESSohn radiates pride as he clears the first hurdle in his marathon run to proper recognition.


•Bill Parcells, New York Giants coach, on his run-and-shoot offense: "If my quarterback runs, I'll shoot him."

•Don Sutton, the California Angels' 41-year-old pitcher, on the vicissitudes of aging: "I used to pitch, play golf, have fun, rest and pitch again. Now I pitch, recover, recover, recover, rest and pitch again."

•Tim McCarver, Mets broadcaster, on the team's runaway success: "When the Mets lose a game it's like William Perry losing eight pounds—who notices?"